Monday, January 30, 2012


                'So what have you done now?'.....'Well I was running along the beach and'.......'Why were you doing that,.......probably posing in Malibu I bet' .......'Well,yeh.'.......'And in new shoes I suppose and with a two week old calf strain'......'Well,yeh'...........'Idiot'.
             And so my physio session with the infamous Helen McLeod begins. After some intrusive probing the torture commences with a; 'This may hurt a bit'.
          'Ahh!'. I nearly hit the ceiling. ' Thought it was there', says a grinning Helen who now assures me that she wont hurt me again whilst still accusing me of being a wimp.  The next hour consists of massage with a strange herbal cream. When I ask what's in it, her reply is 'Herbs, just imagine you're rolling around in the shrubbery'. Fair enough, then its ultrasound and some thing called an interferential therapy machine. As she carefully placed electrodes on my leg she asked, 'Let me know if your leg begins to spasm?'.......'It will feel a bit like being attacked by an octopus'; which was exactly what it did feel like. At one point Helen informs me that the language mode had switched into 'Russian' but no worries she says, 'I speak machine Russian!'. She continued in the next session to 'iron out my lumpy bits' whilst fiddling expertly with my Gastroc and Soleus. (look it up).
        For anyone who knows Helen, the Super Physio with the magic hands, then none of this is a suprise as she has the unique knack of being incredibly proffessional whilst talking unintelligble gobbledygook. The hour just flies by as you get the full treatment plus entertainment, all in one session.
       Next stop my coach, Paddy Warwick. After going through my copious notes on all my training activity that he had designed we then get into some serious analysis of the results. Despite the break in training caused by my calf strain I had kept up all of my strength work and most of the high intensity running drills, tempo, sprints and Block specificity runs,(pre-injury). Paddy too has a rather special computer thingy which is called Biosignature Modulation and a very impressive tool it is. It goes beyond simple fat testing and analyses in detail the areas where body fat is stored therefore creating a unique hormonal profile. Simply put he can then work out by nutrition and exercise what needs to be done to improve your overall weight and health by reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. I have been on this program for two months exactly, so what are the results?
     After losing a few kilograms initially I then regained it BUT my body shape has changed dramatically. This is what Paddy expected as I had lost  over 2 kilos in fat and replaced it with over 2 kilos of lean muscle mass. My body fat  has dropped incredibly from 14.7 %  to 12.3 %, which is an overall 16% reduction. This is in itself is impressive but considering I was in pretty good shape anyway the specific areas of fat loss are amazing. For example I have lost 20% of my hips, 20% of my abs and 27% of my hamstrings!
    We then did a test on my quad strength and balance by counting how many specific leg raises I could do in a minute from a one foot platform. Two months ago I averaged 18, today I did 42, (over 100% increase), I think even Paddy was impressed.
     After looking at my regime he felt that my calf strains could have been caused by the huge increase in eccentric and concentric exercises. Previously I had done mostly long slow distance running and  stretching and therefore the switch to high intensity speed work as well as all the strength training may have put too much pressure on these weaker areas.( I understand at this point that at least half my audience has no idea what I'm talking about so lets just say I overdid it a bit.)
     I shall continue with Helen until I am cured and meanwhile Paddy is working on a new regime to get me to the 'Way to Cool' in top shape. What with these two on the case and Sue organising my nutrition all I need to do in March is run 50 kilometres through the beautiful forests and canyons of  northern California...........should be dead easy!!


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